Caution Pet Owners!

In the Western world, people are living more with their pets than family members as loneliness is on rise.

In 2012, 62 percent of American households included at least one pet. Americans spent more than $50 billion on their beloved cats, dogs, and other animal companions! 

Indians have this habit of aping Americans. That is why, India doesn't want to be lagged behind in this matter. India has a ratio of one dog per 15 people in the city areas. Many don't even take care of their parents yet they have many dogs! Where has 'Matru/pitru devo bhava' value gone ? Today, it is 'Pet ru devo bhava' !

However, ancient India never had this 'doggish' culture in past as dogs were considered as untouchables. Scriptures advice us to take a bath if we knowingly or unknowingly touch a dog. 

Further, our Shrimad Bhagwatam also talks of Maharaja Bharat who renounced his kingdom spread all over earth and went to forest for performing austerities and fell in love with none other than a deer!

He had so much attachment for the deer that he used to eat, sleep, drink with his pet deer! His deity worship suffered and he mentally became like a deer. In his next life, King Bharat became a deer. 'Ante Ya Matihi Sa Gatihi', means, "Whatever mental state we have at the time of death that state we attain in our next life without any doubt." If we are Krishna Conscious, we attain Krishna Loka. What will happen to us if we are 'dog/cat/what not' conscious ? 

Prof Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, asked almost 2,500 people to complete online questionnaires about their characters and those of their pets.

He found that many dog lovers, cat owners and even reptile keepers said they shared many of the same traits — such as happiness, intelligence, independence and sense of humour — as their pets! 

Imagine what will happen to 62% people of Americans!



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  • There are a lot of different ways of finding love. I am not a "horrible person" for having cats. There are a lot of other things I could be doing which would be much more sinful then " the crime" of loving my cat family. My favorite verse is Bhagavad-Gita 5:18  "The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater(outcaste)". 

    • Hare Krishna Pandora Mataji,


      Mataji you are a very nice person and i have a huge respect for animal lovers...right from my childhood i am having pets, and dis is my third pet which is  1.5 yr old... at first sight i was bit outraged by seeing comments against animals....but now i completely agree with what mataji adn prabhu ji is trying to say.... unknowingly i was getting very much attach towards animals........ our dis attachment should be only for krishna....I have personally felt the power of krishna in my life.... i was a big materialistic person adn the more m concentratin on krishna the more m getting less attached with this material world but unfortunaltly my dis detachment turned out to be the attachment for pets and animals...... what best we can do for our pets is by playing Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.... let dem get a human life in deir next birht  and den dey are free to decide deir own path....... i love my pet and i will try to play Krishna Mantra every day for him.... and also i wont buy another pet now...... I feel very much content by serving our beloved Krishna.

      Your Humble servant

      Amit Mehra

      • Hare Krishna Amit

        I understand that the point is to not  get too attached to your pet because of the danger of thinking of your pet at the time of death. I am just concerned though that "new people" to Krishna Consciousness with pets might feel that they are not really welcome to join "Krishna Consciousness" because of their  pets. I am extremely fortunate. I go to the most wonderful Temple in the USA-the Alachua, Florida USA Temple!!! Lots of great advanced devotees and devotee association!!! They also have a Temple cat here named "Kunti" who personally welcomed me and the others to the Temple today.

  • Hare Krishna!

    Wonderful article prabhu!
    Offering food to the deity seen by animals is an offense as in the nectar of devotion. Its is also an offense to desire food that is to be first served to the Lord prasam. As animals are of lower consciousness, they naturally see food and want to eat , thus Krsna won't feel comfortable as the point is to feed Krsna, not to feed oneself. The bhog you will offer will just be carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, without love, in both cases.

    Further, "No one can live without loving smeone else. The missing point, however is where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy. At present, human society teaches us to love his country, family or personal self, but there is no information where to repose our love so that everyone can become happy. In the primary stage a child loves his parents, brothers, sisters, and daily he grows up to love his family, society, community or even whole human society."

    "But the loving propensity is not satisfied even by loving the whole human society; that loving propensity remains imperfectly full-filled until we know who is the Supreme Beloved. Our love can only be satisfied if it is reposed to Krsna- compared to watering the root of the tree to nourish he leaves, fruits, rather than actually going to each leaf and fruit. It isn't possible to water the tree part by part, nor possible to feed the different parts of the body separetly. The Nectar of Devotion will teach us how to turn the one switch that will brighten everything, everywhere. One who doesn't know this method is missing the point of life."

    - Prabhupada

    Prabhupada says that association of pure devotees is very important. Its even practical that when even a bad person lives with devotees, he is completely transformed like Narada muni in his past life. So, keeping lower associations with also make us have a subtle effect, an example of how staying near pungent smells e.g. garlic will also make us smell like them, inspite of no actual contact between. Similarly, animals can have a subtle effect on our mind, a vivid example is of how a rishi cursed a hunter when the hunter shot an arrow to two birds who were copulating- ramayana. So we can see how the rishi - a very austere ascetic who had mastery of the senses became angry. Krsna says lust or desire gives rise to anger in b.g. (not sure of verse)

    Another example is Bharata, or more commonly jada bharat who simply felt compassion(mode of goodness) to an pregnant deer. But what happened,.... he became attached to the deer.Which led him to take birth two more times. Though Krsna's devotee is never vanquished and Bharata Maharaj achieved Krsna by His mercy in the life after this, it stilled stalled his process of self-realization for a good two births. Imagine in Satya yuga a pure devotee of the lord getting attached to a deer, then what about Kali yuga and neophyte devotees? Perhaps i may not be as lucky as him and fall to desires in my next birth. The risk is surely not worth taking.

    Further, loving pets is just a sign that we are deprived of love ourselves, so are not even going for humans but straight to animals like dogs and even hogs. Though compassion is part of devotional service, it is only safe if a Satyavesha avatara like Prabhupada can do it. I read of an incident where a cat came in front of him and he stroked it lovingly with his leg. Imagine how kind prabhupada is! He is even working to liberate a cat! But did he announce from then on that the temple should raise cats to liberate them? No. So why should we associate with cats in the mere pretext of liberating them? Because, there are chances we could fall. ( i am just speaking for myself here)

    Loving cats defocuses ourselves from actually knowing who the beloved is. That's only Krsna, like the expert way prabhupada explained of watering the root and not being a fool to water each and every leaf. Krsna will say," Oh he wants to love an animal, so be it!" he's liberal. But we should be vigilant enough to know that loving pets won't bring us real happiness. We are mere servants of Krsna so why should we show a false sense of proprietorship by claiming to control and animal? We end up being controlled by the material modes of nature- The illusion of control. And that's a different thing that they defecate and contaminate the whole house. Previously, brahmanas used to bathe if by mistake they touched a dog,as they has to remain clean for the vedic sacrifices from germs and filth.

    So, just direct our love to Krsna, and you have loved everyone- prabhupada. Serve Krsna, not animals. Our keeping of pets is a megre reflection of Krsna in vrndavan keeping pets. His parrot pet was Suka or Sukadev goswami as later revealed. Similarly Radharani also had a pet, who would inform her of the whereabouts of Krsna. See the beauty,pets are performing devotional service. Pet calves are there too each of Radha and Krsna, if you see the spiritual naming site on the right.

    Jaya prabhupada!
  • Hare Krishna Prabhu..


    That means a devotee should not keep pets????? should consider them as untouchables??? Kindness to pets is an offence????

    Our beloved Deity is in different room where no one is allowed to go there wearing slippers or shoes... den what to say of the pets definately dey are not allowed there..... till my last breath l be a devotee or a servant of our beloved Krishna but at a same time l have loads of kindness for animals too.... i just cant see them in pain.... animals cant speak they cant express deir feelings... its the duty of a human to be very kind towards animals rather den considering them untouchables...

    Your servant

    Amit Mehra

    • E-Counselor

      Hare Krsna Amit Prabhu,


      The point Veeral Prabhu is trying to make is - we human beings have a need to love and to be loved. In modern times, with relationships deteriorating, people are putting their affection on animals and taking them as pets. Sometimes, the affection for the animals becomes greater than for own family members.

      When we are trying tobe sadhakas, it is important to develop a certain level of detachment. That detachment from family members should not convert into attachment for pets. Once we get animals into the house as pets, they also become family members only na. Therefore refrain from having pets. However, if you already have pets, they dont have to be thrown out of the house.

      Regarding what pets one can have, that is also mentioned in the scriptures - cows, calf and bulls were the traditional pets in Indian households earlier. The benefits of having them as pets - I dont need to explain to you.

      Animals have feelings prabhu, and we should also be compassionate towards them by being non violent towards them, not taking from nature more than what we need, so that nature has something for animal species also, not bringing them home. How many can you bring home anyways?

      I hope I have been able to explain.


      Your servant,


      • Hare Krishna Mataji


        now i understood what prabhu ji has mentioned.. and my apology to you prabhuji... ... on one side we are tying to detach from the family  and on the other hand we are getting attach towards our pets.. dis is indeed not good for spiritual progress.... dey (Pets) r from lower yoni is dere any way we can help dem???? i try to play Hare Krishna maha mantra for him  but i dont think he is listening rather he falls asleep.

        Your servant

        Amit Mehra

        • Hare Krishna Amit

          I am glad to hear that you are playing the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra for your pet. It will help him greatly even if he falls asleep. My cats love to hear all of the Srila Prabhupada tapes!

  • God Bless America!!! I love America and am glad to be an animal lover. Thank you Lord Krishna, for allowing me to be born in such a wonderful country full of animal lovers like myself. Thank you Lord Krishna too for my beautiful cat family.

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